Gordian III (as Caesar, 238 AD).
Silver Denarius, Mint of Rome.
Obverse: Bareheaded bust of Gordian III facing right, M ANT GORDIANVS CAES.
Reverse: Priestly implements, PIETAS AVGG.
Rare. Extremely Fine.
(RIC I; RSC 182)
The Year of the Six Emperors saw the defeat of Maximinus Thrax by Pupienus and Balbinus. The joint reign of the two ex-senators was somewhat disastrous. Having defeated the popular Gordian I and II in Africa, the pair made Gordian I’s grandson Caesar, to please the Roman people. Denarii were issued which feature a young bareheaded portrait, in contrast to the later, more mature profiles. Gordian III was a teenager and survived the purge of the Praetorian Guard, who grew tired of Pupienus and Balbinus’ continuous infighting. Gordian III became sole emperor and ruled for a further six years – not bad for a young emperor in the Third Century. He was, however, murdered by his own troops in 244 AD – an all too familiar end.